The central event for the commemoration of the Nakba, the Procession of return, was organized, as in the past five years, by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced (ADRID). This year, for the first time, Jewish and Jewish-Arab organizations also took part: Taayush, Bat Shalom, Neve Shalom, Another Voice in the Galilee, and Zochrot.

We arrived at the event at about 3:00 p.m. following a visit to the destroyed village of Miske near Kibbutz Ramat Hakovesh, where, together with the displaced people of the village, we posted prominent signs in Arabic and Hebrew on the remains of the mosque, the school, and the cemetery of the village. Our hope is that the signs will expose what the Zionist institutions tried to cover away behind the eucalyptus grove: Here was the village of Miske, whose residents were expelled and whose houses were destroyed by Israeli military and by the JNF in 1948.

The event opened with a large procession, for the first time with the participation of Jewish organizations, from the parking lot in the Cyclone industrial area to the place where the village of al-Birweh, the village where Mahmoud Darwish was born, was occupied by the Israeli military on June 24, 1948. At the procession the participants carried signs with the names of 533 villages that were destroyed, and Palestinian flags. I also made out two black flags waved as a sign of mourning and outrage for the war crimes carried out by the Israeli military against the Palestinians in those days.

On Saturday we returned to al-Birweh to post the signs. Mr. Wakim Wakim, of the Association of the Internally Displaced, noted the importance of the signposting initiative of Zochrot, and Eitan Bronstein said how meaningful the support of the Association was to materializing these activities.

The participation of Jews in commemorations of the Nakba together with displaced people of the village, and bringing up the problems of the displaced and the refugees for discussion in the public in Israel, is necessary if we would like one day to arrive at real reconciliation. 

Al-Birwe Procession of Return 2002 (5)

Al-Birwe Procession of Return 2002 (4)

Al-Birwe Procession of Return 2002

Al-Birwe Procession of Return 2002 (1)

Al-Birwe Procession of Return 2002 (2)